inflammation and disease

The Link Between Inflammation and Disease Explained

September 19, 2018

We’ll be the first to admit that there’s a whole lot of wellness buzzwords floating around these days.

If you’ve been pursuing health for long, you’ve no doubt heard the term “inflammation” tossed around, and you may be wondering if it’s just another marketing ploy to sell more anti-inflammatory meds.

Well, it isn’t just a buzzword, and inflammation has been proven to have a great impact on our health, quality of life and even the length of it.

Researchers have found that it is the most significant trigger behind many chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, autoimmune conditions and more.

What Is Inflammation?

More importantly, how does it affect our health?

Inflammation isn’t always bad. In fact, it is the natural response our body gives when something goes wrong.

Simply put, it is our body’s first line of defense.

Its job is to aggressively recruit the immune system to recognize and remove harmful or foreign invaders that pose any kind of threat.

By performing these functions, we can say inflammation is a good thing, but not always.

inflammatory response

 

When our body’s inflammatory response is in balance, it is a good thing. But when out of balance, it can lead to some serious health risks.

When you stub your toe, prick your finger or even sprain your ankle, a sophisticated alarm system goes off inside your cells. When the immune cells on patrol identify the virus or injury, they send out an array of chemicals in response.

Some of these chemicals are designed to treat invading threats, while others like cytokines, adipokine and eicosanoids recruit ground troops – white blood cells – to the site of injury.

The dispatched white blood cells ingest damaged cells, germs and any other foreign material to help the body heal. Then prostaglandins, a type of hormone, try to repair the damaged tissue by creating a blood clot.

As this complicated chain of events occurs, the influx of cells and fluids on the site of the injury causes the telltale pain, redness and swelling associated with inflammation.

Types of Inflammation

There are 2 categories of inflammation:

  • Acute
  • Chronic

Acute inflammation starts quickly and typically heals in a number of days.

Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, can last for months and even years due to repeated exposure to the cause agent.

What Causes Inflammation?

Inflammation has a whole host of causes, so much so that it is often difficult to pinpoint why it sometimes goes haywire.

What researchers know is that, without it having an infection to fight, the body’s inflammation system goes from healing damaged cells in the body to harming the healthy ones, leading to tissue and cell damage.

Research has also shown that a number of factors contribute to chronic inflammation. Some of these include:

  • A buildup of dietary and environmental toxins that turns the immune system on and keeps it highly reactive.
  • Our body’s response to stress, unhealthy eating, obesity and smoking.
  • A poor state of the body’s inflammatory response.
  • A body system malfunction where the body can’t turn off its natural defense.
  • An untreated cause of acute inflammation like an injury, which later worsens to be chronic.
  • An autoimmune disorder that can cause your immune system to attack healthy tissue.

How Does Chronic Inflammation Occur?

Chronic inflammation begins when the body’s inflammatory response is dramatically exaggerated, causing it to be out of balance.

As mentioned earlier, when our body exhibits the normal inflammatory response, it is working to keep our body safe.

However, in some cases, it overreacts.

For example, when it interprets something harmless like peanuts as a dangerous invader, then the body’s inflammatory response could transform to a disease where the ingested peanuts lead to severe allergies.

It could even interpret any of your body’s tissue, say your cartilage, as dangerous. In this case, the inflammatory attack on your joints results in Rheumatoid arthritis. 

Now, when the threat is actually real and your inflammatory system overreacts, even when the danger is no longer there, your body’s inflammation response never stands down. It just continues to send wave after wave of inflammation when it should dissipate.

Symptoms of Chronic Inflammation

With acute inflammation, you get noticeable symptoms like pain, redness or swelling. However, the symptoms of chronic inflammation can be hard to detect since they develop over time.

They often go unnoticed until another illness or an autoimmune condition is diagnosed. Here are some chronic inflammation symptoms to look out for:

  • Swelling
  • Joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained rashes
  • Gum disease
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain

These symptoms of inflammation can be mild or severe. They could also go on for months or years.

Dangers of Chronic Inflammation

Chronic inflammation puts your body on high alert, and this prolonged state of emergency can lead to damage to your brain, heart and other body organs.

As mentioned, chronic inflammation can also cause your body’s inflammatory response to mistakenly attack healthy tissues and cells. When this goes on over time, it can lead to internal scarring, tissue death and DNA damage.

Here is a list of diseases that have been associated with chronic inflammation:

  • Diabetes
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Arthritis
  • Heart diseases
  • Kidney and lung destruction
  • Stroke
  • Skin conditions
  • Asthma
  • Sleep apnea
  • Depression

What You Can Do to Relieve Inflammation Naturally

You can make some lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of chronic inflammation. You can reclaim your health and also support your body’s natural ability to fight inflammation correctly with the use of foods and herbs.

Incorporating anti-inflammatory herbs, foods and supplements into your diet, while cutting out things like alcohol and sugar are effective ways to fight inflammation without medication. Some of the best anti-inflammatory foods include:

  • Leafy greens
  • Salmon or fish oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fiber
  • Alkalizing fruits

Some of the best herbs for inflammation include turmeric, ginger, cayenne pepper, green tea and more. Our Organic Anti-Inflammatory Tincture features a potent blend of these herbs to bust inflammation as naturally as possible.

We even paired them with synergistic ingredients like organic black pepper, which has been shown to skyrocket the herbs’ absorption rates.

Along with diet and lifestyle, these anti-inflammatory herbs can help reduce inflammation throughout your body - without any of the nasty side effects, fillers or preservatives found in modern anti-inflammatory medications.